Waterloo, Iowa – Monday morning, city workers in Waterloo will begin deflating the Cedar River bladder dam.
Throughout the week, crews will deflate the dam by around 2.5 inches per day. The process should be finished by the end of the month, depending on weather conditions.
River biologists have requested that the dam be progressively deflated in response to prior fall drawdowns that have resulted in mass stranding of freshwater mussels on exposed river bottom, according to a statement on the city’s Facebook page. This slow rate of deflation will allow aquatic species upstream to adjust to the changing river level.
In addition, the bladder dam is being deflated in advance of the Park Avenue bridge repair and Cedar River Marina developments.
The bridge will be demolished in the next weeks, with construction expected to be completed late next year.
Construction on the Cedar River Marina is scheduled to begin in spring 2022 and end in fall 2022.
Depending on future river levels, both projects may be delayed. In the spring of 2023, the city wants to re-inflate the bladder dam.